Archive

Archive for October, 2009

Good-bye, Brian, our CFO!

October 31, 2009 1 comment

We will certainly miss our Chief Financial Officer and mighty man of God, Mr. Brian Rauch, as he will be moving to L.A. (Lower Alabama) soon.

What a blessing he’s been to this ministry to volunteer his talents, wisdom, insights, and abilities to further TIL! We would not be where we are today without Brian!

Thank you so much for helping us do the ministry of discipleship and biblical counseling!

-Mark (praising God for a godly, devoted husband and father of two precious girls, Brian Rauch!)

Stealing – 8th Commandment

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The heart of God is giving. To me, that is Who God is – a Giver of life, a Giver of eternal life, a Giver of His love, a Giver in general. What can I give God that He has not first given me?

That’s why I think the 8th Commandment of not stealing is so dear to God’s heart. It is unloving to steal. It is taking rather than giving. It is taking what is not given to you and was given to someone else by the grace of God. In that sense, it is a TWOFOLD sin damaging yourself in your relationship with Christ and the person you stole from!

I love Ephesians 4:28 which gives us the antidote to stealing. The antidote is TWOFOLD: work and give to the needy.

We are to work and give to the needy. That’s why I love Truth in Love – we are a giving ministry. Most people cannot afford biblical counseling so we provide it for free thanks to your generous support of our ministry!

That’s why I also like working with Christ Health Center – they are a giving ministry providing healthcare to those in real need.

It’s a great partnership founded on the heart of God – GIVING to those in need. We all work together to give to those in need.

-Mark (God is an amazing GIVER)

Job’s children?

October 27, 2009 2 comments

Everything that Job lost was doubled by the end of the book except for his children. Why?

In Job 1:3, he had 7,000 sheep and in Job 42:12 he had been restored double that with 14,000 sheep. Camels, oxen, and donkeys were doubled, too.

Job was given twice as much in physical possessions, but not physical children. He was given 10 more children but not 20. Why?

I believe the implication is that all 10 of his first set of children will be in heaven so the next set of 10 were given as twice as much SPIRITUALLY speaking though not physically. I think the promise of God was to save Job’s 2nd set of children so Job did have 20 souls saved. It was a spiritual doubling not a physical doubling.

Don’t you want your children in heaven? I know I do. It’s a main concern and prayer of my heart!

I want to be like Job in Job 42:16 who saw his children and grandchildren for 4 generations.

-Mark (God is the God of redemption and His blessings in His economy are phenomenal because He can bless us spiritually as well as physically)

P.S. I love Job 42:10 tells us that Job prayed for his friends! Wouldn’t we all love to have  a friend like Job?

What is a “by-product” of obedience?

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

When our goal is simply to glorify the Lord by being obedient to Him as He leads us by the Holy Spirit in accordance to God’s Word, then there are “by-products” produced.

For example, the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God in your marriage will likely produce more love, joy, and peace in your heart toward your spouse, others, and even the Lord.

Another example: the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God by not using drugs or alcohol will likely produce more patience, kindness, and goodness in your life.

One more example: the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God by not lying but telling the truth at all times produces more  faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

All of these “by-products” are often what most people who come in for biblical counseling are seeking! But they have the wrong goal. Not that this goal is bad, it’s not a bad secondary goal. It’s not a bad desire for these things. It’s just the wrong primary goal.

The primary goal must be to glorify and to please God. When that goal gets right, then the desired “by-products” as I am calling them will be produced.

In reality, these “by-products” are really the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. The “by-products” are not produced by you but by Him as He works through you when you have the right goal, trust the Lord, and obey Him.

-Mark (enjoying the many “by-products” the Lord has already given me in my life and looking forward to more of them in the future)

The Kingdom is all about the King

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s not about you and me! It’s all about Him. The Kingdom is all about the King.

Dr. Record reminded me of this recently because he is living sacrificially for the King. I thank the Lord for Dr. Record’s ministry in Woodlawn at CHC. He is a godly man who thinks of Christ and serving Christ in the kingdom FIRST.

How many of us think this way?

Boy, this way of thinking is crucial to biblical counseling, especially when someone is being selfish!

Let’s remember that He alone is worthy to be praised.

-Mark (I’m not the King, I just say what the King says in counseling)

P.S. If you’d like to help Christ Health Center, you can go to them for your DENTAL CARE on November 4th. Patients with insurance enable CHC to continue to do its good work to reach people for Christ in Birmingham.

Ink and Blood

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment

In downtown Gadsden at the Mary G. Hardin Museum for Cultural Arts, there is a great display about the Gutenberg press and how Bibles were printed (ink). Also, the display teaches about how our Bible has been preserved over the years and the men who gave their lives for the Word of God (blood). Oh, and you can see actual pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, too!

Ink and blood is a powerful display. I was deeply moved by William Tyndale’s sacrifice. What a servant of the Lord! Tragically, he was wrongly deemed a heretic for translating the Bible from Greek to English. English was considered a “vile language” for commoners and the “religious” leaders of the day did NOT want him to help regular people to have access to the Bible; therefore, he was strangled and then burned at the stake. Very sad. Remember that the “religious” leaders of the day were against Jesus , too, when He was in ministry!

If you speak English, then William Tyndale impacted your life. Think about that for a moment. Here’s a scholarly man who spoke 8 languages and was imprisoned and violently put to death. Yet because of his work on the New and Old Testaments (only finished half of OT before he was murdered), he has greatly impacted millions of English-speaking people since 83% of his work was utilized in the King James Version of the Bible. And none of us really know much about him!

I was greatly impacted by this display. Cost is $6.00 for adults to go through and it takes 2-3 hours. I was changed and will never be the same.

The display will only be there through Oct. 31st so hurry and go see it. OR buy the DVD’s they have on it.

Two websites to look at for more information before you go are www.culturalarts.org and www.inkandblood.com !!!

-Mark  (incredibly touched by the sacrifice of William Tyndale and the sovereignty of God in preserving His Word)

Disciplining Myself for Godliness

October 21, 2009 2 comments

Several weeks ago, I was seeking YOUR help in encouraging me to glorify God in my physical body. So I came up with a fun way to encourage me called the TIL 20-20 Challenge. You commit to giving TIL a tax-deductible contribution IF I can lose 20 pounds by December 20th. It’s really just a fun thing and not a binding or serious commitment at all. I really don’t care if you give or not, I would appreciate your encouragement regardless! 

Update on the TIL 20-20 Challenge as of October 20th: I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds already by God’s grace. The Lord has really been gracious to me as He has granted me repentance – I do not claim any responsibility for the success – I’m just doing what I am told by being obedient. It’s ALL His doing. God is so good and He alone is producing the fruit of the Spirit: self-control.

My goal in all of this is simply to honor God by living a more disciplined, healthy lifestyle in rest, diet, exercise, recreation (which I have done little of), and work. In so doing, I believe the benefits will be more productivity as I discipline myself for godliness (I Tim. 4:7).

By God’s grace, He has granted me repentance for my sin. And I’ve lost almost 20 pounds already in just 8 weeks of change in my diet.

I am only drinking water and I am not taking in any sugar. No red meat either. I am eating lots of salads, fruits, and vegetables and enjoy them greatly. The by-product of my obedience to Him is that I feel better in so many ways. Praise the Lord!

-Mark (thanking God for a second chance)